Welcoming international students to Canada

This summer, 10 Batswana post-secondary students arrived in Canada feeling a mixture, no doubt, of nerves and excitement. As if starting university weren’t daunting enough, they also had to navigate an unfamiliar cultural landscape. But WUSC was there to ensure a successful transition into Canadian life.

The students are attending six universities and colleges across Canada: University of Waterloo, Laurentian University, Western University, University of Cape Breton, University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Prior to starting school, however, the students participated in a full week of orientation at the WUSC office in Ottawa where they heard presentations from resource people in the community.

Workshops and presentations covered the gamut of essential topics such as health, law, finance, Canadian culture and food – everyone seemed particularly intrigued with poutine! The students also had a chance to get to know each other and form new friendships during the week. Following orientation, the students left Ottawa for their new cities, to live with their homestay hosts before jumping into student life in September. Three more Batswana students are expected to arrive in January.

WUSC’s International Student Management (ISM) oversees scholarships for students sponsored by the Tertiary Education and Finance Department of the Government of Botswana. To date, more than 1500 students from Botswana have studied at more than 30 universities and colleges across Canada through scholarships paid by their government and managed by WUSC. Over 92% of the Batswana students have graduated and returned home to contribute to their country's development.

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